According to senior sources in Island Aviation Services (IAS), the Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) is playing down the Black Widow Spider plague in Male� International Airport.
Officials in IAS, have formally written to the airport officials, requesting for an update on the actions they are taking to control this plague of the venomous Black Widow Spider.
Following is a leaked email from a Deputy Director � Ground Services of Island Aviation Services, which clearly expresses their grave concern over the issue as well as the fact that they take the matter quite seriously.
This plague of Black Widow Spiders in Male� International Airport should not be taken lightly yet Gayyoom�s incompetent staff are taking no notice of it and is trying hard to play down the problem.
“The venom of the black widow spider is 15 times as toxic as the venom of the Prairie Rattlesnake. But only a minute amount of the toxin is injected with a single bite by the spider, so they are rarely fatal. However, the relatively large amount of injected rattlesnake venom results in about 15 to 25 percent mortality among those bitten.
The bite itself is often not painful and may go unnoticed. But the poison injected by the the Black Widow bite can cause abdominal pain similar to appendicitis as well as pain to muscles or the soles of the feet. Other symptoms include alternating salivation and dry-mouth, paralysis of the diaphragm, profuse sweating and swollen eyelids.
Persons younger than 16 and older than 60, especially those with a heart condition, may require a hospital stay. (Heart and lung failure may result in death.) A physician can give specific antivenin or calcium gluconate to relieve pain. Healthy people recover rapidly in two to five days.